History says that shortly after conquering Persia and further expanding its immense kingdom, the Macedonian king, Alexander the Great, had his sights set on India and made his way to the country. He advanced into the Punjab, where he defeated King Porus in 326 BC. It is said that around this time a group of the king’s soldiers got lost and eventually settled in the fertile northern mountains, becoming the Brokpas tribe. The Brokpas settled in the villages of Dha, Hanu, Darchik and Garkon, nearly 130 km northeast of Kargil, on the Line of Control on the Indo-Pakistan border. They had maintained their isolation for thousands of years, until 1999, when the Indian army began to build roads in this area, due to the Kargil War.
The Brokpas have kept genetic pollution at bay and claim they are intact. However, the tribe has culturally transformed over the ages under the influence of the surrounding territory. This series of photographs was their first real exposure to modernization. Their blend of ideology, amplified by genetic and geographic isolation, has helped produce a unique culture. Their current religion is a mixture of animalism, shamanism and Buddhism, which has formed a beautiful display of dressing and grooming rituals that incorporate flowers, metal jewelry, as well as skin and hair from animals. While the Brokpas only recently opened up to the modern world, they welcomed photographer Trupal Pandya to their community and let him capture their unique high mountain life. “Buried in historical documents, taught in classrooms around the world or explored in documentaries; these types of tribes have long been a topic of global interest. As a documentary photographer, I was thrilled with the opportunity to capture a Himalayan tribe who claim to be the descendants of Alexander the Great, ”Pandya said.
Trupal Pandya is a photographer who blurs the lines between portraiture, fine art and documentary photography. Pandya launched her career working with some of the biggest names in the business. He attended the prestigious Eddie Adams Workshop and was interned with Magnum photographer Steve McCurry, well known for his iconic “Afghan Girl” photo. He is one of the few Indian photographers to have worked with National Geographic, CNN, Huffington Post and with the United Nations on a special mission to photograph refugee camps in Iraq. Pandya travels to different continents and spends close and intimate times with the tribes and locals, respectfully immersing herself in their lives and documenting their clothing, habits and culture. His portfolio includes photos of the Huaorani community of the Amazon rainforest, the last surviving headhunters of Nagaland, the Aghoris and tribes of Ethiopia’s Omo Valley. But Pandya’s remarkable work in the mountains of India has undoubtedly been her documentation of the Brokpas – the ancient secret tribe of the Himalayas. Pandya describes in detail a selection of her photos.
Hi, I am Divya I am A Digital Marketer with 5+ years of experience in marketing on various platform. I love to write about technology and various blogs about Dermatology, Neurology, Urology and Giving Reviews about the best doctors in these industries.